This year has been a difficult year for many and admittedly we were thrown off course by Covid-19. Yet, we persevered and readjusted our sails.
Prior to the pandemic we had the success of our Climate Emergency Conference in Tring which over one hundred people attended, including other CLP members, environmental groups and the public, with sumptuous vegan cakes. Speakers included Barry Gardiner MP, Shadow Minister for International Climate Change; Ann Pettifor, economist and founder of the Green New Deal; SW Herts Labour members Bex Plenderleith from Extinction Rebellion, and Steve Ritchie, a local Hydro Power Engineer; Chris from The Royston Repair Cafe project; and finishing on a high with passionate talks from three Ashlyns School students representing SW Herts youth climate strikers who challenged us on the moral duty to care and campaign for the environment of future generations.
In light of the difficulties faced in the pandemic, the CLP successfully moved online. After battling with the complexities of Zoom (and now Microsoft Teams), Juliet and Hannah hosted our first event with SW Herts member and investigative journalist David Hencke, who brought us up to speed on his work to expose the murky Tory contract chumocracy.
We also ran our first online ballot and successfully nominated the CLP’s NEC representatives; established a knowledgebase on Microsoft Teams to centralise information for the EC; established a group of standardised and transferrable email accounts for each role and created a set of documents on the tools available to the Labour Party to facilitate succession.
The Branches have endeavoured to maintain a dialogue with our members across the year, which at times has been challenging. We have included diverse topics such as housing, the economy, environment, the Covid 19 crisis, preparation for campaigning for next year’s local elections, and the leadership election. Further to this, our previous secretary and chair ensured that our most vulnerable members were kept in contact with in the height of lockdown.